Putin toughens his stance: Punishes draft deserters with 10 years in prison

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Putin toughens his stance: Punishes draft deserters with 10 years in prison

At the same time, it is easier to grant Russian citizenship to foreigners who commit to serve at least one year in the army

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a legislative amendment today that carries a 10-year prison sentence for military personnel who desert or refuse to fight during periods of conscription.

In the middle of the week, Putin announced the partial mobilization of tens of thousands of reservists.

The amendment to the criminal code to toughen penalties for desertion was passed this week by parliament and published on the government’s website, meaning it has already come into force. It is foreseen 10 years imprisonment for those who desert, go “without approval” to the enemy, refuse to fight or disobey orders during periods of conscription. Looting is also punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

According to the Kremlin announcement, Putin also signed a law making it easier the granting of Russian citizenship to foreigners who will commit to serve at least a year in the army, at a time when Moscow is scrambling to recruit more men to fight in Ukraine.

Usually one is required to have lived in Russia for at least five years in order to apply for citizenship. This measure seems to be aimed primarily at immigrants from former Soviet republics in central Asia, who live in big cities and work in heavy and unsanitary occupations. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced on Monday that a “recruitment office” inside the vast administrative center of Sakharovo, through which all immigrants must pass.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan this week called on their citizens not to participate in any war.

RES-EMP

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